Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dog Days PS

We are going fishing.  I'll be back at my desk early in September.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Why do men rape?  Is it because an aroused man has no conscience?  Why is a helpless woman arousing?  Why is a struggling woman arousing?  What freak of evolution failed to place a governor on man's libido?  The earliest written records speak of rape.  It is assumed that conquering armies will rape.  The women thus violated become mothers on whom we depend to teach the shared values of civil society.  Their burden is great.  Their child a daily reminder of the degradation and pain of his conception.  That they succeed at all to nurture and love is the miracle that must compensate for the vile act.  Our national leaders say that when the Syrian army resorts to chemical warfare on its civilians, they will have "crossed the line".  Oh?  Is it that easy to accept rape as less evil?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

Its hot here - too hot to do much outside.  I woke early and took my dogs for a cool walk well before dawn.  Venus and Jupiter shone brightly beside the waning moon in the Eastern sky.  I watched for meteors.  I looked for Sirius - the Dog Star.  Sirius is called the Dog Star because it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (greater dog).  I looked for it because it is not visible in winter and spring, and reappears just at the time of the summer solstice.   At one time, the Egyptians based their calendar on the reappearance of Sirius which was also the time of the annual flooding of the Nile.  The Romans believed that Sirius was responsible for extreme heat, and sacrificed a brown dog during the days when Sirius rose just before dawn.   Throughout the Northern hemisphere the appearance of Sirius is associated with hot sultry weather.  We are in the dog days for sure.  My dogs move from shadow to shade searching for something cool to lie on.  Soon enough it will be windy and cold.  We will wish for sunshine.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Saudi Olympian Addendum

In June I wrote about Dalma Rushdi Malhas.  She is the young woman who has achieved success as a show jumper with her horse, Caramell KS.  At the time, she was expecting to be the only female athlete to represent Saudi Arabia in the Summer Olympics. 

Sadly for Dalma, Caramell KS was injured and she withdrew from competition.  Apparently the IOC was a bit relieved, as her previous competitive success at the Youth Olympic Games was considered "below the qualifying standard".  Her acceptance at the Games would have required a qualification waiver which the IOC was reluctant to provide.  Funny.  The IOC accepted the Saudi woman (girl, really) who was entered in the heavy weight Judo class.  She clearly was not qualified.  There was another Saudi woman, Sarah Attar entered in track.  She runs cross country in the US for Pepperdine  She finished her 800m qualifying heat 45 seconds behind the winner, failing to reach the next round.

Perhaps in 2016, there will be more Saudi women on the team.  These young women paved the way.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cheering for the Winner

The media army covering the Summer Olympics went crazy when members of the Royal family were seen sharing in a "wave" from the Royal box at Wimbledon.  Their countryman, Andy Murray won the gold for Great Britain.  Television broadcasts showed anguished parents as they moved their own bodies in rhythm with their child's event. In every venue there were ear splitting whistles urging on even the most unlikely competitors.

But nothing - nothing at the 30th Olympiad or any other sporting event - nothing can match the scene in the NASA control room on Sunday night when their rover, Curiosity touched down on Mars.  In case you missed it, here it is.  Enjoy.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It's Not Free

The long debate about health care insurance is making me crazy.  Insurance is different than care.  The issue at hand is insurance so that the cost of care is, in part, offset for the patient by payment from an insurance pool.  If there is no co-pay required of the patient, the care is free of charge to the patient.  THAT DOES NOT MEAN THE CARE IS FREE!.  All medical services will be paid for.  They will either be paid by the patient, an insurance carrier or the provider.  There is no such thing as free care.  The insurance carrier will spread the cost across all policy holders.  The provider will have to raise rates to cover losses or eventually go out of business.  We do a terrible disservice to ourselves by talking about free medical services.  There is ample evidence that consumers can, and will control medical expenses when they have both good information about costs, and accountability for payment.  Telling them that something can be had for free assures the opposite.